Author: Juliann Terrell
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”- Proverbs 4:23
As I contemplated and prayed about what to share, all I could see was people. I saw my parents, my siblings, my mentors, and my friends-each and every significant one of them. The people that I’ve been blessed enough to share this life with at every juncture- from birth, grade school, middle, and high school to college and the various stages of adulthood. Some of these people have held my attention for a minute and others for a lifetime. It’s in those people, I see His Divine Protection, a guarding of my heart, but I didn’t always see it that way.
As an adolescent, I had always felt that my life had been sheltered. I was naïve and unnoticing of the world around me. I didn’t involve myself with many of the things that may of my peers were experiencing. I had my parents, my siblings, and a close group of friends. I was in church practically every day of the week and when I wasn’t there I was in dance class or hanging out with my small group of friends. This is not to say that I didn’t have the normal teenage angst during that time, but it just seemed to be in a little less intense that what many people my age were dealing with around me. Although contented most of the time, sometimes I wanted more- my peaceful, sheltered existence wasn’t enough for me at the time. I thought that not experiencing those things the others were made me less than. I would spend ridiculous amounts of time trying to figure out what it would be like to be the girl I saw in the hallway that had every guy’s attention or the cheerleader that everyone wanted to be friends with. It was that whole grass is always greener scenario.
This sheltered perspective changed a few years ago though, when my best friend and I were in a bible study and we were discussing our life path (much of which we have shared together). She said something that struck a deep new chord within me. It wasn’t that we were sheltered, rather protected. In that instance that single conversation changed my whole perspective. Although I didn’t know it, He had been guarding my heart from the things that He knew my heart couldn’t know yet. He had been placing Himself in my path with people who would guide my heart- that would turn me back to Him. What a treasure it is to know that this was all because He knew me- He knew my heart and how to protect it.
Proverbs 4:23 tells us “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Your heart is the core of who you are and what flows from it is what the world will know about Jesus. Honor and cherish and praise God for the people who constantly point you back to Him. Even it doesn’t seem like it sometimes, He knows exactly how to protect your heart- after all you are an intricate part of His kingdom and He needs you to complete the work He has for you. Continue to surround yourself with good witnesses to your faith, people who will help remind you to guard your heart and mind and push you forward to eternity.